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Old 04-25-2015, 10:57 AM   #15
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When I plumbed in the bathroom, I diverted the bathroom sink to the black tank. Turns out it's good and bad.

The bad: The kids like to run the water when your not looking, and my wife is a avid hand washer. So the black tank fills up as fast as the grey.

The Good: With all the extra water, we have never had a problem with a clogged black tank. It ends up being 80% grey water. Plus we have a "No pooping in the AS" rule when we are at CG with a bath house.
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:43 AM   #16
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When my wife and I camp (no kids), it's mostly dry camping. We can stretch our 39 gallon fresh water supply and holding tanks (39 gal gray and 19 gal black) for a full week without a refill or dump. Others have already provided some great suggestions. Here are a few of ours:

1. Don't use your AS shower. Use campground facilities and shower every other day. On the off days, you can wash your face and hair in the galley sink using 2 or 3 cups of water.
2. Take a tea kettle and water pitcher and fill them from the campground spigots. Use this water for drinking and most of your kitchen needs.
3. Take a small tub for washing dishes. Use warm water from your tea kettle for washing and rinsing, then dump the wash water outside.
4. Use the campground restroom facilities unless making a trip to them is really inconvenient, such as during the night.
5. Leave your water pump off. If you need water from your trailer, flip the pump switch on to let it pressure up your water lines. Then, turn your pump off again. Open your faucet slowly and collect the water in a cup until the water pressure sends no more water out of the open faucet. Drink up, or use that water for whatever you need.

Admittedly, some of these tips may seem a bit extreme. But, we've actually gotten used to them and now it seems wasteful to us whenever we stay in a campground with full hookups.
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:46 AM   #17
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Helpful hints to reduce gray water production

These work for us, but you have to practice to get good at it. Staying in complete hook up CGs can spoil you for conservation. It is just a fact.
1. Use paper plates. We buy inexpensive, thin plain plates. We also use paper bowls.
2. Rinse out your coffee cups/drinking glasses and use a damp cloth to clean. Then wipe dry with a paper towel. Here I'm talking about your personal use cup/drinking glass.
3. CGs have dumpsters or big trash cans. Carry your trash out often to minimize attracting ants. And this takes care of dirty paper plates.
4. You are camping so you don't have to shower every day. You can likely be clean with one bathroom sink of warm water per day. It is less work than a shower, so there's an added benefit right there.
5. You don't have to shave every day or ever for that matter. Another great benefit of camping that also saves gray water !
6. Every time you eat a meal somewhere else, you are saving gray water. So, there's your justification to go to a restaurant. Usually, everyone in the trailer is glad to go with you.
7. I like the outside shower idea. Particularly, if you like to wash your puppy dogs, a shower outside for them on a nice day can save a lot of gray water and mess, too. I would put down a clean blue tarp for ours to stand on. They liked it fine and seemed to enjoy the outdoor shower/bath.
8. Carry a hose dedicated to non drinking water use. You can use this hose (mine is gray !) to wash the trailer and TV. If there is storm drain within range, the gray tank can be dumped down the storm drain while it is raining by using this hose. The tiny amount of gray water (30 to 40 gallons) will be well diluted in thousands of gallons of rain run off. If you are dry camping in a parking lot, keep this in mind when deciding where to park.
9. Remember that a damp cloth or paper towel can do a lot of dish, cup or drinking glass cleaning. Don't leave the water running on the sink faucet. If you want to rinse with water, use the switch operated spray nozzle. Don't have one? Well, that is a good project to add to your list.
10. Brushing teeth? About the same technique as washing dishes. Don't leave the faucet water running while you are polishing the enamel ! I think I can brush teeth with 4 OZ of water. Will check that some time. I usually use only a sip of drinking water to wet the brush and rinse. I use a bit of on board fresh water to rinse the sink bowl as necessary.

I leave all tank valves CLOSED all the time. This keeps me aware of rate of tank filling. I don't have the slinky hose connected to the CG drain except when I dump tanks. Since dumping tanks is work, this helps me to continually stay in a conservation state of mind.

Let's Roll !
Wolf
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:07 PM   #18
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Airstream Owners: Spending a bunch of money to live like homeless people.

Geez... Everyone wants to look like they are staying at an expensive hotel while living in a trailer. There is nothing wrong looking a bit "ruffled" while living off or on the grid.

Only a tent camper understands some of the great examples on avoiding Grey and Black water tank topping out. I would not consider taking some relatives with us as we would be needing fresh water every day in the Mohave Desert, as they still think their living style in the City can be practiced anywhere, even in a trailer with limited water and electric power. They cannot survive without a shower a day, and the thought of using a toilet seat at a campground, used by a stranger, must be infected with some virus or fungus. Since when is your buttocks more sanitary than that person standing in line at the gasoline station restroom? So... you use the stool in your virus/fungus infected trailer as a viable option to out live everyone else on the road.

Trying to explain to the individual who has never camped in a tent or back packed into the wilderness for a week at a time, will never understand.

When we are off the grid, we treat our fresh water as if it is precious. We treat our grey water as available to watering our favorite "bush" in the woods. We have minimal black water as we use an advance technique used by hunters and back country campers... the shovel technique. We do not infect the plants or animals in the area. We do not introduce bacteria into creeks, streams or rivers.... as we know better not to... even if they were in our area.

Imagine yourself as an American Indian in the 19th century.
Imagine yourself as a Rancher in the 20th Century west.
Imagine yourself as a Dry Camper 75 miles from water, civilization and food.

For those of you who find this disgusting, you had better learn what some on this Thread have offered to you as alternatives to living in a Manhattan Apartment. You have to change HOW you do your daily routines.

If you only frequent Full Service RV Parks... great. You can never appreciate what some of us are trying to explain, politely, by ignoring smart options. It will not be long that those from Southern California will be drinking water from recycled urine and feces... soon. Why not conserve NOW by practicing in your trailer while on the road? When in Africa a machine can take feces and recover the water from it as clean drinking water... what are their options?

Kids learn from their parents. Do not make them dependent on the easy life at home. Make sacrifices, if that is what you may call it, while camping. Learning to live by conserving your resources is excellent life training experiences. The Boy and Girl Scouts used to be a popular way to learn these alternative life styles.

If you disagree with what I have spent a life time practicing, keep doing what you are doing. You are the problem, not a solution of your own created problems of black water flowing from your stool while traveling, clogged tanks, full grey water tanks that even Golf Courses use to water their lawns.

American Indians practiced these water issues for thousands of years. Their former campsites now are fertile farm land or not even detectable. Your years of back country water handling will be no more or less destructive to the environment or others. Dogs practice Black Water regulating every day in the forests and prairies. What makes you so special? Nothing. The dog has more sense.

Added: There are some outstanding posts on this thread by individuals who know what they are offering as advice. These are the 10% who practice what they are preaching. Think about what they are doing and what you are doing. Maybe even if you compromise... a little bit, will make your life while staying in your trailer a bit smarter than you are currently experiencing. This is an experience lesson taught over time, not something that comes to you naturally by reading a magazine of the Rich and Famous.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:13 PM   #19
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Do not dump gray water down a storm drain. Illegal mist everywhere I camp now. Storm drains flow into sensitive area most of the time. That's why you can't dump oil and gas etc into them. Here in Gainesville a lot of storm drains have signs advising if this. Jim
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Old 04-25-2015, 01:05 PM   #20
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Do not dump gray water down a storm drain. Illegal most everywhere I camp now. Storm drains flow into sensitive area most of the time. That's why you can't dump oil and gas etc into them. Here in Gainesville a lot of storm drains have signs advising if this. Jim
Not everybody in Gville is doing it right, outfall of Gville is Paines Prairie, i smell sewage when traveling north on 301 while crossing the prairie.

Reviewing all the posts so far has been an eye opener, many great ideas but will continue to hope for an easier solution.
Like I said we like to use our onboard facilities, our attempt to reduce has included, Navy showers, dish washing using sponge with predilutied dish soap and waiting to do all rinsing after all silverware and dishes are clean.
No pets to bath, black water not an issue.
Showering outside was ok on the boat but few cg offer the privacy to do it, and it would satisfy rule of not dumping food or grey tank contaminated water on site.
I liked the idea of digging a hole, maybe a dry well using an auger and perforated pipe a few feet underground would be a solution if we were on our own property not private, state or national parks Maybe parks can show the layout of underground utilities We can make coffee using a filter to keep the grounds maybe someone will come up with a filter for the grey water that would be acceptable to parks.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:17 AM   #21
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Fresh Water is Precious while Boondocking

We dump our gray and black water into our yard every day of the year. We have a 484 foot deep well and drink the water, filtering out any sand or silt, without sickness, feeling ill or any consequences of Pleistocene Ice Age filtered water through the Dawson Formation along the Front Range of Colorado.

We minimize the quantity of "toilet paper" used and dumped with our black water.

We do not water our lawn, trees, or out door plants. Even though we have 1 acre foot of water rights, each year and every year. Also with an option to drill further into a Paleocene Tertiary Formation called the Denver Formation, just above the level where the dinosaurs became extinct during the Cretaceous Period.

Many of our neighbors water a lawn, for whatever reason is beyond my comprehension when living out in a rural area.

We have a Septic Tank. We are on Well Water.

Our well water is slightly acidic at 6.5pH, so we have a water softener in line with a neutralizer that adds Calcite to get the pH to 7.0 and the water softner to remove the excess calcium to the point we do not have white caliche on our plumbing.

I think if you consider that the Septic System is preferred over the Alaska latrine, you can also practice smart water handling.

In many communities you can no longer have a drain in your garage. This is to keep oil from getting into the Sewer System, that eventually is processed and recycled back into your water supply in many areas.

Feed lots of beef and pork businesses DO create problems.
Mining where water pumped out of the mines are contaminants.
Even City water supplies can break down and introduce bacteria into the system.

Nothing is 100%. Your digestive system might not be able to handle the bacteria in the water that the indigenous natives drink without a problem. We are possibly... too concerned about normal activities done responsibly.

When you take a Colorado River Float Trip from Moab, Utah downriver, you can urinate along the river. There is a contraption that looks like something you would store ice cream that you defecate into, while in a small tent for privacy. It is then sealed with the lid, loaded onto the raft and set up at the next camp site. Feces will contaminate the river.

So, please keep things in perspective. Walk a campground with $1,000 pop up trailers and $250,000 RV's and see the dog feces laying around like leaves in a forest. These are the people you have to be concerned about. Not those who pick up after themselves and their pets. IF you are one who is squeamish about picking up after your pet(s), LARGE or Small... may your black tank flow under your bed, as you have placed your fears over common sense.

You would not use your toilet at home if you had no water service, would you? Then what? Think about it. What would YOU do? Some of us could make the temporary inconvenience with stride, until water service is restored. When we lose power for our well, we have NO water service. When the well head freezes up at 25 below...we have no water service. We know what to do.

Do YOU?
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:47 PM   #22
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Dave, you must mean 441, not 301 and trust me our county env pro dept would be aware of such a smell. We have the best environmentalists in the country, pretty much control everything. Jim
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:59 AM   #23
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Dave, you must mean 441, not 301 and trust me our county env pro dept would be aware of such a smell. We have the best environmentalists in the country, pretty much control everything. Jim

My mistake wasn't 301 but PP, checking map found it is Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area Hawthorne, FL 32640. alway thought it was Paines Prairie as it is all connected.
Our city was spraying treated effluent on grass land but limited who could harvest it, still smelled like sewer water when the wind was in the wrong direction, now they treat it a little more and send it to the golf course, at least it is now further from their well field..
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:07 AM   #24
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Never know anymore what is going on as far as spraying etc. Youre right, rotting biomass can smell pretty bad. Off subject but if you come through on the interstate or 441 you should soon see large warning signs when it us foggy. Remember all the deaths in the fog caused accident a few years ago? Good to here from a fellow Floridian. Jim
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:29 PM   #25
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Never know anymore what is going on as far as spraying etc. Youre right, rotting biomass can smell pretty bad. Off subject but if you come through on the interstate or 441 you should soon see large warning signs when it us foggy. Remember all the deaths in the fog caused accident a few years ago? Good to here from a fellow Floridian. Jim
Not really off post as part of the problem is that when grey water goes into tank you get bad smelling liquid within a couple of days, while no smell from soap or food particles when fresh. When AS first made trailers no grey water tanks installed, those redoing the old units have to figure out where to install grey tank.

Crossed pp on 441 many years ago and thought I was running on cement with oversized expansion joints until we realized it was snakes laying on the cement.
hundreds getting the warmth off the pavement.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:25 AM   #26
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Try riding through them on a motorcycle like I did for years. Feet up off the pegs! There's an eco passage now for wildlife, much fewer snakes and gators to avoid.
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